The peculiarities of Turkish revolutionary ideology in the 1930s : the Ülkü version of Kemalism, 1933-1936
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This dissertation analyzes a specific version of Turkish revolutionary ideology in the 1930s, the ‹lk¸ version of Kemalism by means of textual interpretation of ‹lk¸, the official journal of the Peopleís Houses, between February 1933 and August 1936. The ‹lk¸ journal was published by a particular faction of the Kemalists, the ‹lk¸ group, who competed with ìconservative modernistî Kemalism and Kadrocu Kemalism for political and intellectual supremacy within the regime. ‹lk¸ eliteís solidarist, radical secularist, and anti-liberal alternatives to the state power enabled them to present a more appealing version of Kemalism for the context of the 1930s, which was the most authoritarian and radical phase of the Turkish Republic. This study employs new methodological perspective for understanding the nature of Kemalist ideology, which would provide a key to understand the temporal and flexible nature of Kemalism. In fact, this is part and parcel of a general approach to revolutions that highlights ìpolitics,î ìpolitical language,î and ìsymbolic politicsî as the basic unit of analysis. When the Turkish ruling elite encountered an ideological crisis owing to the world economic depression and the failed Free Party experience, prominent figures of ‹lk¸ attempted to form the content of the revolutionary ideology by way of employing solidarist ideological assumptions. Solidarism became an important means to establish secular, rational and social foundations of ethics as a substitute for religion, which was said to prepare the Turkish society to meet requirements of ìdemocracyî. The solidarist line of argumentation not only created tension between democracy and secularism but also provided justification for postponing democracy to an uncertain stage of time when the democratic eligibility of the people would be proven by the ìtrueî representatives of the national will (milli irade). ‹lk¸ís solidarism gave way to an understanding of democracy that was truly embedded, if not confined to, in the restrictions of a peculiar consideration of morality which the ‹lk¸ elite called ìrevolutionary ethicsî (inkılap ahlakiyatı) or ìsecular moralityî (laik ahlak).